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J Neurosci. 2015 Jul 15;35(28):10103-11. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0805-15.2015.

Aberrant Salience Is Related to Reduced Reinforcement Learning Signals and Elevated Dopamine Synthesis Capacity in Healthy Adults.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany, rebecca.boehme@charite.de.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany, Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke University, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany, Institute of Neurophysiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, Medical School Brandenburg, 16816 Neuruppin, Germany, and.
5
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, WC1N 3AR London, United Kingdom.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

The striatum is known to play a key role in reinforcement learning, specifically in the encoding of teaching signals such as reward prediction errors (RPEs). It has been proposed that aberrant salience attribution is associated with impaired coding of RPE and heightened dopamine turnover in the striatum, and might be linked to the development of psychotic symptoms. However, the relationship of aberrant salience attribution, RPE coding, and dopamine synthesis capacity has not been directly investigated. Here we assessed the association between a behavioral measure of aberrant salience attribution, the salience attribution test, to neural correlates of RPEs measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants (n = 58) performed an instrumental learning task. A subset of participants (n = 27) also underwent positron emission tomography with the radiotracer [(18)F]fluoro-l-DOPA to quantify striatal presynaptic dopamine synthesis capacity. Individual variability in aberrant salience measures related negatively to ventral striatal and prefrontal RPE signals and in an exploratory analysis was found to be positively associated with ventral striatal presynaptic dopamine levels. These data provide the first evidence for a specific link between the constructs of aberrant salience attribution, reduced RPE processing, and potentially increased presynaptic dopamine function.

KEYWORDS:

aberrant salience; dopamine; orbitofrontal cortex; prediction error; reinforcement learning; ventral striatum

PMID:
26180188
PMCID:
PMC6605337
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0805-15.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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